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Guillaume LUCAS

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32 publication(s) since Janvier 1996:

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2010 | PLoS Biol   IF 8.4
Spadin, a sortilin-derived peptide, targeting rodent TREK-1 channels: a new concept in the antidepressant drug design.
Mazella J, Petrault O, Lucas G, Deval E, Beraud-Dufour S, Gandin C, El-Yacoubi M, Widmann C, Guyon A, Chevet E, Taouji S, Conductier G, Corinus A, Coppola T, Gobbi G, Nahon JL, Heurteaux C, Borsotto M

Current antidepressant treatments are inadequate for many individuals, and when they are effective, they require several weeks of administration before a therapeutic effect can be observed. Improving the treatment of depression is challenging. Recently, the two-pore domain potassium channel TREK-1 has been identified as a new target in depression, and its antagonists might become effective antidepressants. In mice, deletion of the TREK-1 gene results in a depression-resistant phenotype that mimics antidepressant treatments. Here, we validate in mice the antidepressant effects of spadin, a secreted peptide derived from the propeptide generated by the maturation of the neurotensin receptor 3 (NTSR3/Sortilin) and acting through TREK-1 inhibition. NTSR3/Sortilin interacted with the TREK-1 channel, as shown by immunoprecipitation of TREK-1 and NTSR3/Sortilin from COS-7 cells and cortical neurons co-expressing both proteins. TREK-1 and NTSR3/Sortilin were colocalized in mouse cortical neurons. Spadin bound specifically to TREK-1 with an affinity of 10 nM. Electrophysiological studies showed that spadin efficiently blocked the TREK-1 activity in COS-7 cells, cultured hippocampal pyramidal neurons, and CA3 hippocampal neurons in brain slices. Spadin also induced in vivo an increase of the 5-HT neuron firing rate in the Dorsal Raphe Nucleus. In five behavioral tests predicting an antidepressant response, spadin-treated mice showed a resistance to depression as found in TREK-1 deficient mice. More importantly, an intravenous 4-d treatment with spadin not only induced a strong antidepressant effect but also enhanced hippocampal phosphorylation of CREB protein and neurogenesis, considered to be key markers of antidepressant action after chronic treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. This work also shows the development of a reliable method for dosing the propeptide in serum of mice by using AlphaScreen technology. These findings point out spadin as a putative antidepressant of new generation with a rapid onset of action. Spadin can be regarded as the first natural antidepressant peptide identified. It corresponds to a new concept to address the treatment of depression.

2010 | PLoS ONE   IF 2.8
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors potentiate the rapid antidepressant-like effects of serotonin4 receptor agonists in the rat.
Lucas G, Du J, Romeas T, Mnie-Filali O, Haddjeri N, Pineyro G, Debonnel G

BACKGROUND: We have recently reported that serotonin(4) (5-HT(4)) receptor agonists have a promising potential as fast-acting antidepressants. Here, we assess the extent to which this property may be optimized by the concomitant use of conventional antidepressants. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We found that, in acute conditions, the 5-HT(4) agonist prucalopride was able to counteract the inhibitory effect of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) fluvoxamine and citalopram on 5-HT neuron impulse flow, in Dorsal Raphe Nucleus (DRN) cells selected for their high (>1.8 Hz) basal discharge. The co-administration of both prucalopride and RS 67333 with citalopram for 3 days elicited an enhancement of DRN 5-HT neuron average firing rate, very similar to what was observed with either 5-HT(4) agonist alone. At the postsynaptic level, this translated into the manifestation of a tonus on hippocampal postsynaptic 5-HT(1A) receptors, that was two to three times stronger when the 5-HT(4) agonist was combined with citalopram. Similarly, co-administration of citalopram synergistically potentiated the enhancing effect of RS 67333 on CREB protein phosphorylation within the hippocampus. Finally, in the Forced Swimming Test, the combination of RS 67333 with various SSRIs (fluvoxamine, citalopram and fluoxetine) was more effective to reduce time of immobility than the separate administration of each compound. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These findings strongly suggest that the adjunction of an SSRI to a 5-HT(4) agonist may help to optimize the fast-acting antidepressant efficacy of the latter.

11/2009 | Curr Drug Targets   IF 2.6
Serotonin receptors, type 4: a new hope?
Lucas G

Serotonin(4) (5-HT(4)) receptors have been shown to be involved in several peripheral and central functions, including control of the gastro-intestinal tract, modulation of memory and food intake, as well as positive regulation of the release of various neurotransmitters. Recently, we have proposed that the study of these receptors may also bring a new hope for treating depression, their agonists possibly acting as fast-acting antidepressants. This hypothesis was based on several studies showing that 5-HT(4) receptors play an important role in the modulation of central 5-HT neurotransmission, both at pre- and postsynaptic levels. The possible physiological meaning of this control is discussed, together with the different research perspectives opened by its discovery.

In this study, we evaluated the ability of the selective sigma1 agonist SA 4503 to produce changes in brain function, similar to those elicited by classical antidepressants. We focused more specifically on the influence of SA 4503 on central serotonergic (5-HT) transmission, and on hippocampal cell proliferation. A 2-d continuous treatment with SA 4503 (1-40 mg/kg.d) increased 5-HT neuron firing rate in a dose-dependent, bell-shaped manner, with a culminating effect of +90% at 10 mg/kg.d. The same dose induced the appearance of a 5-HT1A receptor-mediated inhibitory tonus on hippocampal pyramidal neurons, as revealed by intravenous injections of the selective 5-HT1A antagonist WAY 100635. Moreover, continuous administration of SA 4503 (3 and 10 mg/kg.d, 3 d) dose-dependently enhanced the number of bromodeoxyuridine-positive cells in the subgranular zone of the hippocampus (+48% and +94%, respectively), thus indicating an increased cell proliferation. Finally, a single administration of SA 4503 (3 and 10 mg/kg i.p.) increased the time spent swimming in the forced swimming test. Together, these results provide both functional and behavioural evidence that this compound has an important antidepressant potential. Further, the fact that the functional changes occurred within a short time-frame (2-3 d) suggest that this antidepressant potential might have a rapid onset of action.

01/2008 | expert rev neurother   IF 3.5
Fast-acting antidepressants: are we nearly there?
Lucas G


06/09/2007 | Neuron   IF 14.4
Serotonin(4) (5-HT(4)) receptor agonists are putative antidepressants with a rapid onset of action.
Lucas G, Rymar VV, Du J, Mnie-Filali O, Bisgaard C, Manta S, Lambas-Senas L, Wiborg O, Haddjeri N, Pineyro G, Sadikot AF, Debonnel G

Current antidepressants are clinically effective only after several weeks of administration. Here, we show that serotonin(4) (5-HT(4)) agonists reduce immobility in the forced swimming test, displaying an antidepressant potential. Moreover, a 3 day regimen with such compounds modifies rat brain parameters considered to be key markers of antidepressant action, but that are observed only after 2-3 week treatments with classical molecules: desensitization of 5-HT(1A) autoreceptors, increased tonus on hippocampal postsynaptic 5-HT(1A) receptors, and enhanced phosphorylation of the CREB protein and neurogenesis in the hippocampus. In contrast, a 3 day treatment with the SSRI citalopram remains devoid of any effect on these parameters. Finally, a 3 day regimen with the 5-HT(4) agonist RS 67333 was sufficient to reduce both the hyperlocomotion induced by olfactory bulbectomy and the diminution of sucrose intake consecutive to a chronic mild stress. These findings point out 5-HT(4) receptor agonists as a putative class of antidepressants with a rapid onset of action.

09/2006 | Nat Neurosci   IF 21.1
Deletion of the background potassium channel TREK-1 results in a depression-resistant phenotype.
Heurteaux C*, Lucas G*, Guy N, El Yacoubi M, Thümmler S, Peng XD, Noble F, Blondeau N, Widmann C, Borsotto M, Gobbi G, Vaugeois JM, Debonnel G, Lazdunski M

Depression is a devastating illness with a lifetime prevalence of up to 20%. The neurotransmitter serotonin or 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) is involved in the pathophysiology of depression and in the effects of antidepressant treatments. However, molecular alterations that underlie the pathology or treatment of depression are still poorly understood. The TREK-1 protein is a background K+ channel regulated by various neurotransmitters including 5-HT. In mice, the deletion of its gene (Kcnk2, also called TREK-1) led to animals with an increased efficacy of 5-HT neurotransmission and a resistance to depression in five different models and a substantially reduced elevation of corticosterone levels under stress. TREK-1-deficient (Kcnk2-/-) mice showed behavior similar to that of naive animals treated with classical antidepressants such as fluoxetine. Our results indicate that alterations in the functioning, regulation or both of the TREK-1 channel may alter mood, and that this particular K+ channel may be a potential target for new antidepressants.

08/2006 | Eur J Neurosci   IF 2.8
Adaptive changes in serotonin neurons of the raphe nuclei in 5-HT(4) receptor knock-out mouse.
Conductier G, Dusticier N, Lucas G, Cote F, Debonnel G, Daszuta A, Dumuis A, Nieoullon A, Hen R, Bockaert J, Compan V

Decreased serotonin (5-HT) transmission is thought to underlie several mental diseases, including depression and feeding disorders. However, whether deficits in genes encoding G protein-coupled receptors may down-regulate the activity of 5-HT neurons is unknown currently. Based on recent evidence that stress-induced anorexia may involve 5-HT(4)receptors (5-HT(4)R), we measured various aspects of 5-HT function in 5-HT(4)R knock-out (KO) mice. When compared to dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) 5-HT neurons from wild-type mice, those from 5-HT(4)R KO mice exhibited reduced spontaneous electrical activity. This reduced activity was associated with diminished tissue levels of 5-HT and its main metabolite, 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5-HIAA). Cumulative, systemic doses of the 5-HT uptake blocker citalopram, that reduced 5-HT cell firing by 30% in wild-type animals, completely inhibited 5-HT neuron firing in the KO mice. This effect was reversed by administration of the 5-HT(1A) receptor (5-HT(1A)R) antagonist, WAY100635, in mice of both genotypes. Other changes in DRN of the KO mice included increases in the levels of 5-HT plasma membrane transporter sites and mRNA, as well as a decrease in the density of 5-HT(1A)R sites without any change in 5-HT(1A) mRNA content. With the exception of increased 5-HT turnover index in the hypothalamus and nucleus accumbens and a decreased density of 5-HT(1A)R sites in the dorsal hippocampus (CA1) and septum, no major changes were detected in 5-HT territories of projection, suggesting region-specific adaptive changes. The mechanisms whereby 5-HT(4)R mediate a tonic positive influence on the firing activity of DRN 5-HT neurons and 5-HT content remain to be determined.

15/04/2005 | Biol Psychiatry   IF 11.5
Frontocortical 5-HT4 receptors exert positive feedback on serotonergic activity: viral transfections, subacute and chronic treatments with 5-HT4 agonists.
Lucas G, Compan V, Charnay Y, Neve RL, Nestler EJ, Bockaert J, Barrot M, Debonnel G

BACKGROUND: We recently identified a facilitory control exerted by serotonin4 (5-HT4) receptors on the in vivo firing activity of dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) serotonergic (5-HT) neurons. However, these findings were based on acute administrations of 5-HT4 receptor agonists and antagonists, which were active only in a subpopulation of 5-HT neurons. We had no evidence that this influence was significant when considering the entire DRN, nor if it was persistent after chronic treatments. In addition, the poor distribution of 5-HT4 receptors within the DRN raised the question of the neuroanatomical bases underlying this control. METHODS AND RESULTS: Here we show that the subacute intraperitoneal (IP) injection of the 5-HT4 receptor agonists prucalopride (2.5 mg/kg) and RS 67333 (1.5 mg/kg) 30 minutes before the beginning of recordings augment the mean firing rate of DRN neurons by 40% and 66%, respectively. These increases remain stable when the compounds are administered continuously during 3 and 21 days; the effects of the 3-day treatment are blocked by the 5-HT4 receptor antagonist GR 125487 (1000 microg/kg, intravenous [i.v.]). In addition, stereotaxic microinjections of herpes simplex viruses, transformed to overexpress 5-HT4 receptors, increase DRN 5-HT neuronal mean activity when performed in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) but not in the striatum or in the hippocampus. CONCLUSIONS: This finding suggests the existence of a 5-HT(4)-dependent activation of DRN that may involve the mPFC, unveiling the 5-HT4 receptor as a putative player in the physiopathology of several disorders related to central 5-HT dysfunction.